Christmas Gift Edit | For Her

Gifts for Her | Design Hunter Gift Guide

I'm kicking off the countdown to Christmas on Design Hunter today with the first of my gift edits.

I'll be posting lots of gift ideas over the next couple of weeks and will also be creating a dedicated Christmas Gift Guide page where I'll be rounding up all the items featured in the gift guide posts along with lots of other lovely things you might feel tempted to treat your friends or loved ones to.

1. coat by Stella McCartney  |  2. bath oil by Byredo  |  3. scented candle by Oscar de la Renta  |  4. earrings from SixForGold Boutique   |  5. notebook by Lanvin  |  6. leopard print clutch by Whistles  |  7.  bracelet from The White Company  |  8. marble phone case by Native Union  |  9. box by L'Objet



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Blue Collar Rib Bowls by Arian Brekveld for Royal Delft

Blue collar bowls by Arian Brekveld

These 'Blue Collar Rib Bowls' by Arian Brekveld landed in my inbox recently. Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for contemporary ceramics and these are certainly on my wish list.

Brekveld previously designed for Royal Delft in 2012, with his 'Touch of Blue' tableware and 'Blue Collar Bottles', and has this year added new pieces to the Blue D1653 collection. As before he has cleverly juxtaposed the application of classic blue motifs onto pure white forms that align perfectly with the heritage of Delftware (which traces its origins back to the 1640s), bringing it bang up to date for lovers of contemporary ceramics.

I particularly like the larger flatter bowls - a perfect embodiment of old and new within a single design.

Blue collar rib bowl by Arian Brekvelt
Blue collar rib bowls by Arian Brekveld

Dulux Amazing Space

Dulux Amazing Space moodboard | Design Hunter

Christmas seems to be creeping ever closer. Over the weekend we spent some time freshening up our home, repainting the hallway and contemplating a few new accessories to pull everything together for the winter. There are a few spaces that feel a little uninspiring and I've been looking for ways to improve them on a fairly modest budget, without undertaking anything too major.

Last week I was invited to have a design consultation with Dulux ahead of the launch of their new online interior design service Amazing Space, which aims to provide homeowners with a range of inspirational ideas to enable them to transform their homes in an affordable and stress-free way. In all honesty, my initial reaction was to be a little unsure about how useful I'd find it (I already spend a lot of time looking at interiors after all), and more importantly, whether or not I'd actually like the ideas the designers proposed, but I was also intrigued to discover how the Dulux experts would approach our living space, and what someone casting a professional pair of eyes over our home would recommend. So to test out the service I booked three half hour sessions to look at three different spaces in our home - the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom.

Any hesitancy quickly evaporated when I visited the Amazing Space website. It is beautifully designed and easy and intuitive to use. You are guided through a series of steps which includes 'liking' or 'disliking' a series of spaces, and if there's something about a particular space you really like (or dislike) you can also add a few words so that the Dulux design expert can build up a better picture of your tastes and preferences and tailor their suggestions more specifically towards to them.

Dulux Amazing Space screen shot

Ahead of the consultation you'll also be asked to provide a few details about each of the spaces including who will be using them and how you'd like them to function, and to choose three statements that best describe your vision for each room.

Dulux Amazing Space screen shot

Before confirming your online appointment, the final step is to upload some 'before' pictures of the space. You'll also need to enter the dimensions so that the designer can build up an accurate floor plan and visualisation.

The video consultations were professional, fun and enjoyable and I was honestly very impressed with the whole experience. The designers had clearly understood both the layout of my home and my own personal style and taste, and came up with some really creative and interesting suggestions that I would definitely consider putting into practice.

Blush tone colour swatches | Design Hunter

For the living room, we discussed creating a light, airy and calming space with delicate and tranquil accents. My Dulux design expert suggested a lovely blush colour with cool grey accents and recommended vertical feature blocks of colour to add the illusion of height, as our living room has quite a low ceiling. For the remaining walls she suggested Dulux Absolute White, as it includes light reflective particles that reflect up to twice as much light back into a space compared to their conventional emulsion paints.

You can use the service to completely redesign a space and get help with everything from the colour of the walls to curtains and blinds, creating storage and even choosing furniture and accessories, or with just a few of those elements. Basically it's up to you to decide how much or how little help you feel you need.

Copper blush moodboard | Design Hunter

I wanted to keep many of the existing elements like the sofa, the dining table and the media unit but was interested to see what recommendations the design expert would have for using colour and accessories to pull existing pieces together.

I loved the results. Here's the room visualisation I received the day after my consultation. Seeing the space transformed really made me want to bring some of the ideas to life.

Dulux Amazing Space visualisation

I also received an interactive shopping list linking to some of the items we'd discussed during the online session.

I am particularly smitten with the West Elm marble and brass side table (available from John Lewis).

Get the look

Consultations are priced at £75 per room and for that you receive: a 30 minute online video consultation with a Dulux design expert; a personalised digital style guide; an interactive shopping list and a 3D room visualisation and floor plan.

Amazing Space is an affordable solution that puts the help of an interior designer within reach for a large number of people who might not otherwise have considered using one. Although the service would definitely be helpful for homeowners who feel they don't have an eye for design, it will also be useful for those who do know what they like and/or want, but are looking for additional ideas and inspiration as well as professional guidance on how to pull a look together.

I was impressed by both the professionalism of the design consultants and the level of personalisation they offered, and have already recommended the service to friends and family members who are thinking of redecorating. It's perfect for anyone in need of a helping hand with doing up the spare room or giving their dining room a quick makeover before welcoming guests for Christmas, as well as for bigger projects planned for the new year.

Blush interiors moodboard | Design Hunter

Photography by Design Hunter and posted in collaboration with Dulux.